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Project TEMS

The effects of marketization on societies in Europe

In the European Union and beyond, policymakers have come to use the market as a general-purpose policy tool. Dissatisfied with the existing institutions of capitalism, they have introduced price-based competition into new areas of life and ratcheted up competition where markets were already present.

Although the recent financial crises have sparked protests and fuelled criticisms of the capitalist system, policymakers are responding with public sector and welfare state reforms that, in fact, constitute an intensification of market relations in society. The central research question of this study is what the connection is between these shifts and the overall increase in inequality in Europe.

We label the introduction and intensification of price-based competition “marketization‟. The aim of the project is to establish a new strand of comparative institutional research into this phenomenon, by developing, grounding, and testing a general theory of marketization.

The main proposition that the team will assess is that marketization leads to an increase in inequality, in terms of income, security, and participation; three separate mechanisms are proposed mediating this effect. TEMS opens new horizons in the understanding of economic governance, employment relations, and inequality.

Our central goal is to generate a general theory of marketization, including causes and effects. We will examine in four workplace contexts in four countries and draw on tools from the grounded theory and comparative-analytic traditions. The main outputs will be academic articles and books. The project runs for four years.

The research team includes Prof Ian Greer (PI), Dr Lefteris Kretsos, Dr Charles Umney, Dr Barbara Samaluk and Maria Mantynen. The TEMS administrator is Shanaz Sumra.

For more information, please contact the PI at

Ethical information

Researchers on Project TEMS are bound by a strict code of ethical practice. The aims are to ensure that participants consent to take part in the project on the basis of sound information; that participants are anonymous; that the information they provide is confidential; and that their data is securely protected.

In addition to the information provided on this page, participants are also informed about the project and the ethical code verbally, at the time of the interview. Consent is asked both for participation in the study and (when applicable) the recording of research interviews. Participation in the project is voluntary, and we will see to it that participants are free to withdraw from the project at any time, without explanation, and with no possibility of repercussions.

We ensure that participation is anonymous and confidential by not sharing the identities of participants or the information that they provide outside of the research team. This means that in our publications, interviewees will not be mentioned by name (without their permission), and information will not be provided in the publications that would allow them to be identified. Furthermore, we do not use quotations without the interviewee’s permission.

We protect participants’ data by storing electronic files in password-protected files, devices, and drives and keeping hard copies in a locked cabinet. We anonymize interview transcripts prior to giving them to assistants to analyze and will store the data only until 5 years after we publish our final publication from the project.

We will not use this information for purposes other than research. The outputs will be academic books and articles, which typically require two years from submission to publication.

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